Attendance Policy


Under the provisions of Arkansas State Statute 6-18-222, the student's parents, guardians or persons in loco parentis and the Jefferson County Juvenile Court shall be notified when the student has accumulated excessive unexcused absences equal to (1/2)one-half the total number of absences permitted under the school district's Student Attendance Policy, eight (8) unexcused absences, per semester. Notice to the Jefferson County Juvenile Court shall be by letter to the chairman of Jefferson County Juvenile Court. A FINS will be filed with Juvenile Court when a student misses (4) four unexcused times in any one class. This action comes from Jefferson County Circuit Court Eleventh Judicial District. This represents a change in our previous practice and is being done at the direction of the juvenile court.

Excused Absences: AR Code 6-18-201 Excused absences are those where the student was on official school business or absent from school with the parent or guardian's permission and knowledge. A parent may excuse a total of four days per semester by contacting the office of the child's school by a phone call or parent note, provided the note and/or the phone call is make or sent no later than the next school day. AR Code 6-18-222(a)(1)(A)

Other examples of excused absences are: when the absence was due to one of the following reasons and the student brings a written statement upon his/her return to school from the parent of legal guardian stating such reason.

  • Death or serious illness in their immediate family;
  • Observance of recognized holidays observed by their faith;
  • Attendance at an appointment with a government agency (court or other legal proceedings);
  • Attendance at a medical appointment (doctor, dentist, counselor, etc.)
  • Exceptional circumstances with prior approval of the principal
  • Participation in a school sanctioned/sponsored activity.

Additional excused absences shall be granted to allow a student to visit his/her legal guardian who is a member of the military and been called to active duty, is a leave from active duty, or has returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting. The number of additional excused absences shall be at the discretion of the superintendent or designee.

Students in grades 9 through 12 with more than eight unexcused absences in any class during the semester may possible lose credit in that class. As a preventive measure, parents will be notified when the students has missed four (4) unexcused days, eight (8) unexcused days, and nine (9) unexcused days in and class period.

Unexcused Absences: AR Code 6-18-201 An unexcused absence is defined as one in which the student is absent without the parent/guardian's permission or knowledge. Any absences not defined as excused are unexcused. Other absences considered to be unexcused absences include absences such as:

  • Absences as a result of suspension from school.
  • Absences from which documenting is not provided by the required time frame.
  • Absences in excess of the four days, per semester, allowed by parents.

Excessive Absences: When a student exceeds the number of unexcused absences allowed according to the district's student attendance policy per semester (8 days), the school district shall notify the prosecuting authority, the Drivers Control Office, the Truancy Officer and the student's parents, guardians or persons in loco parentis shall be subject to a civil penalty, not to exceed $500 plus court costs and fees. In addition, the student may be placed on FINS supervision and a monthly supervision fee may be assessed by the Juvenile Court. Students are subject to losing their driving privileges according to ACT 831/876 of 1991.

NO EXCEPTION RULE: Students who miss more than four (4) days in any class, regardless of documentation, will not be exempt from semester exams. (School business leave does not count against exemption policy.)


The public schools of any school district in this state shall be open and free through completion of the secondary program to all persons between the ages of five (5) and twenty-one (21) years whose parents or legal guardians are domiciled in the district and to all persons between those ages who have been legally transferred to the district for education purposes. Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older may establish a domicile separate and apart from his or her parents or guardians for school attendance. AR Code 6-18-202

Any child, who has received a high school diploma, or its equivalent as determined by the State Board of Education, is not subject to this attendance requirement.

Every parent, guardian or other person residing within the State of Arkansas having custody or charge of any child or children age of five (5) through seventeen (17), both inclusive, shall send such child or children to a public, private or parochial school under penalty for noncompliance as shall be set by law. Provided, however, this Section shall not be applicable to any child who has received a high school diploma or its equivalent as determined by the State Board of Education.

The minimum age for enrollment in public school kindergarten shall be age five (5) on or before September 1 of the year of initial enrollment. Provided any student who has been enrolled in a state accredited or approved kindergarten program in another state for a period of not less than sixty (60) days, who will become five (5) during the school year in which he is enrolled in kindergarten and whose parents or guardians establish domicile in a public school district in the state of Arkansas may be enrolled in kindergarten upon written request of the student's parents or guardians.

Any child may enter the first grade in the public school in Arkansas if the child will attain the age of six (6) years during the school year in which the child is seeking enrollment and the child has successfully completed a kindergarten program in a public school in Arkansas.


Excused Absence:

A Parent/Guardian must call Attendance Office (247-3465) each day student is absent. Voicemail is available 24/7 to inform the attendance office of your child's absence. Parents are encouraged to use Pinnacle Plus, al link on our website http://whitehallar.apptegy.us/o/whhs this will allow you to see your child's attendance and tardiest as they are entered by their teacher each period.

A note from Parent or Physician must be in Attendance no later than 8:30 AM the day student returns to school from being absent. Any note given after the time will not be accepted. The note must state the following, Student name, date of absence, reason absent, signature of parent/guardian and phone number where they can be reached.

Admit slips will not be given to students returning to school in hopes of cutting down student tardies and more efficient use of time. Students arriving late must Sign In at the Attendance Office and will be given an Admit-To-Class slip. No student will be allowed in classroom without this slip.


A. To receive an excused absence, the student's parent must contact the Attendance Office by phone (247-3465) or by note before they return to class, no later than 8:30 A.M. the day the student returns to school from being absent. A voicemail is set up for after school hours for your convenience. Any note given after 8:30 will not be accepted. Absences will count toward compulsory attendance.

NOTE: Students who are absent from school without parental consent will be regarded as truant and disciplined according to school policy that stipulates five (5) of In School Suspension for first offense and ten (10) days of In School Suspension for the second offense and fifteen (15) days of In School Suspension and probation for additional offenses.

B. Absences will be excused only with parents' knowledge and Permission.

C. Students arriving late must sign in at the Attendance Office and will be given an Admit to Class slip. No student will be allowed in the classroom without this slip. Students tardy for more than five (5) minutes will be counted absent and sent to the office.

D. Students receiving an excused absence for 1-3 days must contact each teacher concerning any make up work on the first day back to school. Each teacher will determine an appropriate date (not to exceed five (5) school days under normal circumstances) for completion of all make up work. Work not make up or completed by the established day will be recorded as a zero.

  1. If a student is notified and make aware of a scheduled test and then is absent between time test was announced and the time test was administered, the student will be required to take the test the day after the absence.
  2. A student must arrange for their make up work before the absence of a school related activity (athletic event, choir or band event etc.). If this is not done, assignments, tests, and homework cannot be make up.

E. Unexcused absence- a student may not make up work missed and will receive a zero grade for the day missed.

F. Students absent from school without parental knowledge and consent (cutting school) will be subject to detention hall or in school suspension.

G. Attendance Office will contact parents of students who check in after school has begun and those absent all day.

H. Students checked out during class will be counted absent regardless of time spent in class.

I. Students will be readmitted to school only one time per day after checking out.


A. Students have five (5) minutes to change classes.

B. A student who is not in their assigned seat when the tardy bell begins to ring will be marked tardy.

C. Students tardy more than five (5) minutes will be sent to the office and counted absent.

D. The Attendance Office will keep a record of each student's tardies.

E. For emergencies, students may be excused from each class twice per semester to go to the restroom. A tardy will be counted after the second pass to the restroom.

Five (5) tardies-five (5) hours detention hall

Ten (10) tardies-ten 3 days of In School Suspension.

Fifteen (15) tardies-minimum 5 days In School Suspension.

Students will receive five (5) days In School Suspension for each five (5) tardies over fifteen tardies.

If a student misses more than the first 25 minutes of a class, that student will not be allowed to attend class and will be counted absent for that period.


Under normal circumstances, in grades 9 through 12, students who miss a class nine (9)times unexcused, may receive a NC (no credit) grade for that class by attending class and maintaining passing work.

A. The principal/assistant principal may grant an extension of allowed absences for extraordinary problems such as a Chronic Illness. A chronic illness is defined as a frequent recurrence of an illness that would cause a student to be absent from school for more than the allowed absences per semester. Documentation of the illness must be presented to the principal's office prior to September 1 on the attending physicians' letterhead containing the diagnosis, number of absences related to the diagnosed illness, and the attending physician's original signature. In the event a chronic illness occurs after September 1, the same documentation must be presented to the attendance office prior to the student's fourth (4th)absence from school.

B. Nothing in the above removes the possibility of school disciplinary action for truancy. A.C.A. 6-18-222 Penalty of excessive unexcused absences.